Why are men more likely to have sex with strangers?

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Why are men more likely to have sex with strangers?

Postby Carnie » Sat May 03, 2014 1:36 pm

I've brought this up before, but I don't think it generated much discussion. Now that I have hard evidence to point to for the premise, I'd like to take another stab at it.

Tailsteak wrote:In a well-known study, men were approached by a female stranger who point-blank asked them for sex - and the vast majority of them said yes. (When the genders were reversed, of course, women were rather less receptive.)

The study is a quick read. 83% of men said yes to sex with a random hot woman, and 97% said yes to going back to her place for a drink. When the woman was of average appearance, the numbers were 60% and 80% respectively. By contrast, only 1% of women said yes when approached by a man.

This relates to something about gender roles that's been on my mind for a while, but I don't want to get to that yet. For now, my question is simply this:


Let's get a few things out of the way. As to the difference made by the attractiveness of the woman making the offer, I don't think there's much mystery surrounding that. I suppose you could technically ask "why" to that as well, but that's not what I'm here to talk about it. (I'm not saying I think it's "okay" that this is the case; it's just not the question I want answered.) What I'm interested in is the difference between a man propositioning a woman vs the other way round.

I suspect that a contributing factor to these numbers is that women are more afraid than men of being mugged or raped or whatever. They're not necessarily saying no to sex per se, but to being in a vulnerable position with a stranger. This makes sense; as, like it or not, the average man will have an easier time overpowering the average woman than vice versa.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few of these men weren't actually intending to have sex with the woman, but said yes anyway to see if this was for real and/or because they were amused by it. (I think this is especially likely since, if nothing else, I find it highly unlikely that only 17% of men have a girlfriend or wife who they have no intention of cheating on. If this study were conducted only on men who were already known to be single, it would be another matter.) I can tell you that I, for one, would not agree to sex with a random woman no matter how hot she is (even if I didn't have a girlfriend), but there's a fair chance I would still initially say yes just to see what happens.

Despite both of these factors, I think these numbers are strong enough to infer that men, on average, are more willing to have sex with a random woman than vice versa. And to that, I frankly have very little idea as to the reason for it. I'm really very curious about it.

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Re: Why are men more likely to have sex with strangers?

Postby RyukaTana » Sat May 03, 2014 2:34 pm

This question delves into the land of causality, and that way lies madness. First, it's all speculative, probably good speculation in some cases, but still speculative. Second, this answer is going to be clouded by the perceptions surrounding gender roles that leads to this sort of thing in the first place. Third, as I said, causality is an issue, do you want a biological reason, a cultural one, the base cause or the direct cause?

If you want a direct cause, it's gender roles. I don't care what someone thinks that means (that men are perverts or women fear rapists or whatever), it's about cultural norms for men and women. Masculinity is tied to virility and sex drive.

If you want a root cause, I'd say it's biologically inclined. Males are capable of reproducing without any restriction (that is, I could technically reproduce as fast as I can fuck different women). Females, however, have no such capability, and thus have a reason to seek out an ideal mate. So, if I want to propagate, I just fuck everything in sight. If a woman wants to propagate, she should theoretically seek out the best candidate, meaning taking time to get courted.

So, while this doesn't restrict human behavior, particularly due to our sapience and theoretical ability to make more informed choices than other living creatures; it nudges behavior in a certain direction.
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Re: Why are men more likely to have sex with strangers?

Postby snowyowl » Sat May 03, 2014 2:45 pm

More developed post which may or may not be referring to the same study.

The key word to me is "strangers". Women have just as much sex as men, by definition (well, straight sex anyway). I'd guess men are more interested in one-night stands and casual sex, while women are more interested in sex as part of a developing relationship.

Also, men don't expect to be raped by random women. That's probably a big factor.
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Re: Why are men more likely to have sex with strangers?

Postby mustang6172 » Sat May 10, 2014 11:36 pm

Fear of pregnancy makes sex into an investment for women. Men only need fear the legal recourse society has granted mothers (i.e. child support).

I think you're ready for the 1.9-million-year-old sex talk.
Sex wasn't a big deal for homo habilis. As quadrupeds, females could carry children, food, and fuel on their backs. Homo erectus had the burden of walking upright; thus necessitating someone assist pregnant females. Female homo erectus selected males for loyalty. Males in turn selected females who could reward their loyalty (increased libido and breast size during pregnancy are good for this). This is the birth of both monogamy and gender roles.

There's your root cause of why women have restricted reproduction: walking upright.
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Re: Why are men more likely to have sex with strangers?

Postby JustinReilly » Sun May 11, 2014 3:58 am

We're pretty sure bipedalism evolved with the Austrolopithicenes, so you can take that back another 1.7 million years or so. The name Homo Erectus is confusing. It was the earliest bipedal primate known at the time of discovery. But that time was 1891.
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Re: Why are men more likely to have sex with strangers?

Postby doctor100 » Mon May 12, 2014 11:24 am

I have a lot of problems with the study. First it was only conducted on college age people (as I suspected)-ti was also conducted in a warmer enviroment, but we'll leave that alone. The collaborators did NOT approach peole at random, but only those they thought were attractive-which seriously changes the social dynamic, (among other things the standard for beauty are more universal with women than men). The sampling size was rather small-and the study was conducted basically to resolve a bet-which the collaborators were aware of.

There are reasons why this study was rejected a dozen times before publishing it.

As for why, I could count gender roles, college culture, but I like to add another explination that we haven't heard yet: confidence. I am certain that the collaborators percieved roughly the same anticipated results as they got.

Study is being done on a college campus, which of the two feels more assured: woman asking a man for sex, or man asking woman for sex?

Try the same among 30-somethings and I'm willing to bet the numbers will move. 40 somethings the numbers would move even more. 50 somethings the numbers would barely resemble the original study.

But the fact that 50% of either sex agreed to a date really kinda gave me a ray of hope for the courting rituals of today.
Particularly considerign that so much of morality is emotional based 'not to hurt people' 'don't be mean' 'build community' 'listen' 'be humble', a logical answer doesn't present itself, the problems exist in an emotional framework.
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Re: Why are men more likely to have sex with strangers?

Postby Inverse » Tue May 13, 2014 9:46 pm

A far more recent study suggests that women are just as open to casual sex as men are, if you bother to correct for factors like fear of social judgement, fear for one's safety, and worry that some random stranger won't actually care whether or not you get off.
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